New US Defense Secretary Robert Gates, in an unannounced trip to the battlefront, discussed the possibility of boosting US troop strength in Iraq with US commanders in the beleaguered country, but has made no decisions about what to do, he said Wednesday. On just his third day in his post, Gates journeyed to Iraq armed with a mandate from US President George W. Bush to help forge a new Iraq war strategy. His goal is to get advice from his top military commanders on a new strategy for the increasingly unpopular, costly and chaotic war - a conflict that Bush conceded Tuesday the US is not winning. "We discussed the obvious things," Gates told reporters after meeting with top US generals. "We discussed the possibility of a surge and the potential for what it might accomplish."